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How do child custody changes impact child support?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2021 | Family Law

While child custody and child support are two separate legal issues, they can impact each other. The court will often consider the custody arrangements when determining child support payments.

The Virginia Department of Social Services explains if you have a significant change in custody orders, it can very well change your child support order. However, you will usually have to bring your child support case to court to have changes made since the court may not make them at the same time it makes the changes to the custody arrangements.

Time with each parent

Child support amounts often depend on how much time the child spends with each parent. The whole point of support is to help with the care of the child. If you have your child most of the time, the other parent will pay support. However, if something changes and the other parent starts having your child more of the time, the court may adjust the support. The reason is you have less time now that you need to take care of the child.


Since custody changes do not automatically change support orders, you will have to alert Child Support Services of any changes. This can trigger a change in your support order. Never assume the agency knows of the custody changes.

Keep in mind, nothing will change with your support obligation until you get an order from the court. You must continue paying according to your existing order until you get a new one or you will end up in arrears.

Changes in custody may impact support. It really depends on how much the orders change as to whether the court sees a big enough need to alter support orders as well.